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Morning Eye-Opener

JM, Chris and Russ overexposed, 4.24.08

Joseph Mailander elsewhereemail

Russ Stanton came to the LA Press Club last night and proved himself more interested in management than journalism. Things that fetched eyeballs were good; the Times still had many great writers left; the tactics behind putting out a daily newspaper were subordinated to the strategy of competing in new markets. These considerations seem more the publisher's job than the top editor's. A tech wonk in the audience, not even a scribe himself, asked the best question: "Your talk was about strategy, but you're being asked questions about tactics..." "That's the problem in a nutshell," Stanton said, wondering how to visualize a new strategy in an organization that thinks hyper-tactically. Strategy is more typically the publisher's domain; editors more typically fight for writers, space, stories, the stuff that makes any given day. Also interesting subtext: he kept referring to the space available in the paper as "real estate", the webmaster's term. He wants the Times' site to be stickier; he wants the scribes to be younger and he wants scribes who easily plug into other media. He called print "dead trees." He wants fewer stories to jump. He thought that links from Drudge were good. He admitted he has no dominion over the editorial and op-ed pages.

Brady Westwater thoughtfully informed Russ that his local beat scribes were making tons of errors and even writing fiction in some cases.

Those of us who knew Gehry's work way back when complained of how impermanent it was. And now Santa Monica Place is getting a complete makeover after a scant twenty-seven years. Courtesy Archinect, which is very uneven but which you design people might like to bookmark as Dwell continues its soft descent since Allison's sudden departure.

The mudslinging has begun: Parks calls Ridley-Thomas a "politician", the Daily News says. Somehow, Sheriff Baca has endorsed both candidates.

If you steal a peek at the Daily News left sidebar, you'll note that four of the ten top viewed stories involve the Lakers. Stanton also said last night that the former fishwrap of record was trying to figure out a way to work the Lakers into news stories. So word is out on Laker impact. Now for le deluge blogosphérique.